A great deal has been said about Bill C-30, the inflammatorily named Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act this past week, and as an internet-based publication, the Herald would remiss if it did not add its two cents to the conversation. With more and more criminal activity occurring digitally, the basic logic of the bill is sound; however, the current iteration of Bill C-30 is unclear, and has the potential to infringe on civil liberties in a drastic fashion. Passing Bill C-30 without amendment would be a mistake
While not an issue of legislative substance, part of the issue with Bill C-30 has been the name, and the rhetoric surrounding the bill. By positioning C-30 as a heroic stand against child pornographers (shameful human beings though they may be) meaningful debate, of which there is plenty, was immediately shut down and replaced with immature stunts like the Vikileaks30 Twitter account.
In fact, even Conservative MPs like New Brunswick’s John Williamson have called C-30 “too intrusive.” The silver lining is that it appears the Conservatives will be considering significant amendments to the Bill C-30 because of the week’s backlash.
What should the amended version of Bill C-30 look like? We have a few suggestions:
Outside of the actual content of Bill C-30, we would also like to see a much less opaque bill, with clearer definitions. The documents explaining the bill put out by Public Safety also read like talking points; understandable, given how the government communicates, but unacceptable given the serious implications of some of the less than clear points. For example, Public Safety claims the bill would “streamline the application process when court orders or warrants need to be issued.” It is unclear whether this means the removal of unnecessary bureaucracy, or of very necessary privacy measures. We at the Herald would like to know.
We’d also like your thoughts. Use the facebook comments below to let us know what you think should, or shouldn’t, be part of Bill C-30. All opinions (except those that side with child abusers) are welcome.